The heavily updated 2019 Mercedes-Benz G-Class is making its public debut in Detroit, a city that knows a thing or two about trucks.
Tracing its lineage back four decades, this leather-lined off-roader has never strayed far from its roots. And the latest iteration sticks to the same winning formula, mostly.
Still built on a rugged ladder-style frame, the G-Class’ bones and body have nonetheless been strategically reinforced to deliver even better rock-climbing capability with greater on-road civility.
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Thanks to high- and ultra-high-strength steel the new G-Class has lost about 375 pounds. Also helping cut unwanted fat, the fenders, hood, and doors are made of aluminum.
But perhaps the biggest change with this hardcore off-roader is a new independent front suspension, which should dramatically improve its overall comfort, ditto for the electromechanical rack-and-pinion steering. An under-hood strut-tower brace helps tie the vehicle’s front end together more tightly, which should pay some important dynamic dividends. As for clearance, there’s 10.6 inches (27 cm) between the ground and the front axle gear, a massive amount.
If this all sounds a bit out of character, there’s really no need to worry; purists can breathe easy because the rear is still supported by a live axle, one rigidly contained by four trailing arms and a Panhard rod. Ground clearance to the aft differential housing measures 9.5 inches, an increase of around a quarter inch (0.6 cm).
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